• Devereux Pennsylvania

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AJ's Journey with Devereux

“It is amazing how much our life has changed in just a few short years thanks to Devereux. From the very beginning, their wonderful staff assured me we would get through this together.”

Our hearts melted the moment we first saw our son in a photo from the adoption agency. He seemed so tiny and sad, sitting alone in this large, cold room filled with other abandoned children. We loved AJ from that moment. Though we suspected our family might face difficulties in the coming years, we were unprepared for the challenges of the behavioral and emotional problems AJ would face because of the severe neglect he experienced in the first 20 months of his life in an orphanage.

Thank you for taking a moment to let me share AJ’s story. I hope that our family’s story will demonstrate how Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health helps change lives and nurture human potential.

AJ encountered obstacles from the day we brought him home. Everything, even the smallest daily task, was such a struggle for him and every developmental milestone became significantly delayed. As a young child, he was irritable, loud and demanding, and unable to get along with other children. AJ’s normal response to anything unpleasant was to become angry and aggressive. There were frequent hours-long tantrums where he would scream, spit, break things, and hit anyone who tried to calm or comfort him. As you can imagine, our family became exhausted and overwhelmed, as these episodes with AJ put so much stress on all of us. There were many days I felt hopeless and I worried we would never find the help AJ needed so desperately.

AJ’s behavioral struggles continued into elementary school. His lack of social skills resulted in him being the outsider, “the odd kid,” usually playing alone and constantly teased. He began to engage in serious self-harming and, by second grade, he was lying, cheating and stealing from his classmates. The teachers and school administration soon became overwhelmed with AJ and the many disciplinary problems that followed. They informed us his teachers could no longer support him and they would advance him to third grade, even though he had failed second grade twice. It was time for us to seek help elsewhere.

Please consider making a gift to Devereux to help individuals like AJ access high quality programs and services that inspire hope, ensure well-being, and promote meaningful life choices.

We had been involved in many different forms of therapy with AJ since he was very young, but nothing seemed to be effective for very long. He had undergone several evaluations that concluded he had multiple diagnoses, including ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. There had been numerous trials with medications, but they caused awful side effects and often seemed to do more harm than good. We were completely frustrated and unsure of our next steps when we finally found Devereux.

Devereux’s century-old tradition of unlocking human potential began with one classroom in Philadelphia, but now touches the lives of over 3,500 individuals across Pennsylvania.

It is amazing how much our life changed in just a few short years thanks to Devereux. From the very beginning, their wonderful staff assured me we would get through this together, providing a sense of hope that we so desperately needed. They conducted a very thorough assessment of AJ, observing him at school, at home and at all of his activities. The Devereux staff worked with our family to develop a comprehensive plan that would allow AJ to develop the skills he needed to cope with his many challenges. Their team worked tirelessly to find the right medication for him. The difference in AJ before and after Devereux’s assistance is truly night and day.

The transformative care Devereux provides is made possible by the support of the greater community. Please consider making a gift today so that innovative programs and services can continue providing hope to families throughout Pennsylvania.

With Devereux’s support, and after years of advocating, we were finally able to enroll AJ in a wonderful school, with a small class size, lots of teacher support and individual attention. He is thriving every day! We are thrilled that, at 10 years old, AJ finally has a small group of friends. The child that previously used his energy for tantrums has become quite the athlete, playing soccer and basketball with several community teams. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, playing with his Pokemon cards, and guitar lessons and, like every other family, we argue about time spent playing video games! We know we still have a long road ahead of us, but the truly remarkable experience we had with Devereux has transformed our family, and we could not be more grateful to their caring staff.

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health cannot bring together compassionate care, industry-leading interventions, and family engagement without your support. Public agencies, which fund our services, simply do not cover the cost of our advanced care. Please make your gift today by visiting our secure online donation.

Thank you for sharing in our family’s story. With your help, Devereux can help more families - like ours - find peace, happiness, and hope for a brighter future.

Noriko Lovasz
Devereux Parent

PS: Your gift to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health unlocks human potential and is needed now. You have the power to help us nurture adults and children like AJ so that they may be the best they can be.